In Carson City, Nevada a tragic car accident has claimed the lives of Nexi Jones’ adoptive parents. Now, without them, her reason to live has vanished and she is determined to end her pain.
The problem with that, it’s not heaven she wakes up to, it’s the Otherworld. Nexi must reconcile the truth about her past, and her heritage as part guardian/part witch, while she begins to train to join the Council’s guard. But it’s not the combat training that has her worried, its attempting to keep her cool around the luscious guardian, Kyden that’s her biggest concern.
Before long, Nexi’s skills are put to the test as she begins to fight against the supernatural who have taken a human life. But nothing can prepare her for the journey ahead. Soon, she will find herself lost in a mystery and fighting to keep all she’s gained, as Lazarus, a vampire, threatens to take it all away.
A bird singing in the distance stirred me from my sleep. My eyes fluttered open to a perfect warm summer evening in Carson City, Nevada. The night was so clear, every star in the dark sky was visible. There was forest laid out around me with plush grass resting below. A light breeze wrapped around my body and goose bumps rose across my skin, but suddenly, that peace was interrupted by gripping pain.
Where am I?
When I glanced toward the source of the pain, confusion swept through me—my wrists were slit and bleeding out tremendously. My vision blurred, but I blinked hard, forcing it to remain clear when a tickle came from overhead. My gaze slowly glanced up toward it and the moment the weeping willow came into focus, my memory came with it.
Yes, I was badly hurt, but this, I had done to myself. And why that was is really quite simple—I’ve always been a little different. An outsider, never quite fit in anywhere, never felt right in my own skin. But having my adoptive parents Gloria and Frank Jones kept me strong enough to deal with it—strong enough to fight against the sense of alienation. Plus, I’d become an expert at hiding this little secret and blatantly ignoring it.
My life had been full of happiness for twenty-four years.
But all of that joy was ripped away by the Carson City Sheriff’s Department. At first, all I heard was, “accident on Interstate 50”. It took another half an hour to come to terms with the rest, “your parents have been killed” .
With those few simple words, my hopes and dreams were shattered. The only two people in the world I loved had left me. Deserted me in a place I didn’t belong. Now, there was nothing here for me anymore. No reason to stay. Which is why I was here resting beneath my willow, bleeding out.
The leaves dangled down again, trailed along my body almost in a way to comfort me. Located deep in the Carson City wilderness area, this tree is my home away from home—my own little piece of paradise.
Truthfully, I came here hoping it would save me from my own thoughts. But the moment I arrived, it only seemed to reassure me that the choice I was making was the only one. The life I had now was no life at all.
As a tear fell down my cheek, the pain consuming me began to withdraw and a chill set deep into my bones. My eyes began to droop, and my limbs were numb and heavy.
Someone once told me, when you die you see your entire life flash before your eyes, containing all of your happiest moments. Apparently, they lied. Nothing but ice ran through my blood equaled by the sense of being dreadfully alone.
Just as the pain threatened to raise a scream from my throat, a twig cracked beside me. Startled, I glanced toward it where a man stood, watching intently. Annoyance immediately filled me. A savior is not what I wanted, but when my mouth parted, nothing came out. Dammit!
He started toward me, his walk smooth but strong. Was I dead? Was this my guardian angel? He looked the part well enough. Heaven isn’t called Heaven for nothing, especially if it’s filled with men like this. He was handsome enough to put George Clooney to shame. Looked a lot like him too—same soft eyes, dark hair, even his
shape—strong without being overwhelming. The best part was his clothing, or lack thereof, which only consisted of a sword strapped to his back and a kilt made of armor.
Unexpectedly, a rush of the ickies snuck up on me. Apparently, it was wrong that I was ogling him. Guess God had a sense of humor. Fill Heaven with gorgeous men, but strictly enforce a hands-off rule. Just my luck!
When he reached me, he leaned down and put his hand on top of my head. There was something to his touch—something so familiar. “I have found you, my darling, Nexi,” he said. “Sleep now. You are safe and it’s time for you to come home.”
A wave of peace washed over me and the last thing I saw before the world faded away to darkness was my willow swaying in the wind.